Tyler, The Creator-Cherry Bomb (2015)

My Rating: 42% (D-)

Pitchfork Rating: 67%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 69%

Average Rating: 62%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. DEATHCAMP
  2. BUFFALO
  3. PILOT
  4. RUN
  5. FIND YOUR WINGS
  6. CHERRY BOMB
  7. BLOW MY LOAD
  8. 2SEATER
  9. THE BROWN STAINS OF DARKEESE LATIFAH PART 6-12 (REMIX)
  10. FUCKING YOUNG / PERFECT
  11. SMUCKERS
  12. KEEP DA O’S
  13. OKAGA, CA

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

I don’t know, half asleep?

Thoughts on Album Cover:

This album cover was actually the first thing that convinced me to check Tyler out.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

Before I was even listening to Tyler, The Creator, I remember reading an interview with him about the negative reception of this album. He said something along the lines as people being upset about what he was rapping about now, saying that he used to rap about having to live with his grandma and that just wasn’t his life after becoming an artist. Of course that makes sense, your art will change dependent on how your life changes, but I don’t think that’s why it was negatively received, it was received negatively because it’s not a good album. Seriously Cherry Bomb just isn’t a good album, it’s boring, it’s kind of R&B at times, and most the album I was waiting for Tyler to start going hard on the mic, but whenever he did, which is a rare moment on Cherry Bomb, it was too little too late. I’m glad Tyler didn’t keep going down this road. Boring album.

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San Cisco-Gracetown (2015)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 100%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Run
  2. Too Much Time Together
  3. Magic
  4. Snow
  5. Wash It All Away
  6. Bitter Winter
  7. Jealousy
  8. Super Slow
  9. Mistakes
  10. About You
  11. Skool
  12. Just For A Minute

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing some happy music.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I actually love these guys’ covers, they always look super artsy and cool.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes.

Final Thoughts:

When it comes to bouncy stupid pop music, San Cisco is my go to. They’re the embodiment of the rule “keep it simple stupid”. Their albums are exactly what I want pop to be: fun, happy, catchy, not too repetitive, not too experimental. They aim for their mark and they hit it on Gracetown. The album is a great example of what pop should be, a genre you can put on in a mall or restaurant without offending anyone. Is Gracetown going to go down in history as an influential album? Absolutely not. But there’s something to be said about making an album that aims for a genre and gets it 100% correct, no need to get fancy with the spices, this is pure pop.

Tame Impala-Currents (2015)

My Rating: 81 (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 93%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 84%

Average Rating: 82%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Let It Happen
  2. Nangs
  3. The Moment
  4. Yes I’m Changing
  5. Eventually
  6. Gossip
  7. The Less I Know The Better
  8. Past Life
  9. Disciples
  10. ‘Cause I’m A Man
  11. Reality In Motion
  12. Love Paranoia
  13. New Person, Same Old Mistakes

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the mood for a mix between psychedelic electronic and pop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s awesome, I really like how you can picture what kind of album you’re getting into with the cover.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah if it was a good price.

Final Thoughts:

Tame Impala is a group that a lot of my friend circle absolutely love, but I never really checked them out, except for the occasional song I’d hear at breweries or other hipster-esque places I frequent. Currents is a really solid album, it’s unique but not in a way that really pulls me away from the chill vibes they’re aiming for. Pop, psychedelic, and electronic fans will all be represented on Currents, and that’s probably the strong part of the album, it caters to a wide audience without pinpointing their sound to one genre. I’m not officially a Tame Impala advocate, Currents is really solid but the likeliness of me going out of my way for a show is still fairly low. The next album I check out should tip the scales to either be a casual listener, or an official fan.

Blueprint-King No Crown (2015)

My Rating: 70% (C++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Landing
  2. The Talented Tenth
  3. Unbreakable
  4. Trump Tight
  5. Nothing Like This
  6. Not Afraid of The Dark
  7. They Like Power
  8. Black Intellectual
  9. Persevere
  10. Fist Fight
  11. King No Crown
  12. Live For Today
  13. As Long As It Takes
  14. Maybe My Generation feat. Illogic
  15. Great Eyedeas Never Die

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

In the need of some inspiration to keep pushing through.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah it’s alright, it seems familiar, it’s not doing a lot for me but it’s not especially bad either.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, most underground hip hop would be rad to have on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Blueprint is yet another emcee that Rhymesayers Entertainment should be proud to call their own. Although not nearly as renowned or popular as other label mates, Blueprint seems content to do his music for his fans and himself. His albums aren’t ground breaking, they’re all pretty much the same thing honestly, but there’s something comforting about knowing what you’re getting into with Blueprint. I think the ending of the song Persevere really gets to the heart of Blueprint’s attitude when it comes to releasing music: “you don’t have to bend the whole world, you just have to enjoy it, pay your dues and enjoy it.Blueprint isn’t going to break charts, he’s not going to be my favourite emcee, but I’m always happy to tune into his newest work and put him on my shuffle.

Busdriver-Thumbs (2015)

My Rating: 63% (C)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 63%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Hottentot Supercluster feat. Zeroh & Kaveh Rastegar
  2. Black Labor (as understood by Equiano)
  3. Hyperbolic 2
  4. MUCH
  5. Ministry of the Torture Couch feat. Hemlock Ernst
  6. Worlds to Run feat. milo & Anderson .Paak
  7. Skit
  8. Surrounded by Millionaires feat. Daveed Diggs
  9. Great Spooks of Enormous Strength
  10. Del’s Couch feat. Del the Funky Homosapien
  11. Shadows and Victories feat. Jeremiah Jae
  12. NY 03 LIVE feat. Caural
  13. Species of Property
  14. Two Feet in the Layered Cake feat. Kool A.D.
  15. Answering Machinist feat. Jeremiah Jae

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting to dig deep into The Good Life emcees.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I love this cover, it reminds me of some of the spirit characters on Miyazaki films.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nope.

Final Thoughts:

Busdriver is an impressive emcee, there’s no doubt about that, don’t believe/trust me? Listen to Me – Time and shut your face. The thing that separates Busdriver from other wordy rhymers, such as Aesop Rock and MF Doom, is his inability to make a solid album. He has a few tracks that are fun on each album, but he can’t make one that demands more than one listen. He’s a great artist that seems to be wandering a little aimlessly. This is the time where I think a concept album with a famous beat maker would really help Busdriver make an album of note. Let’s see a Danger Mouse and Busdriver collab, please!

Doomtree-All Hands (2015)

My Rating: 96% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 71%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 62%

Average Rating: 76%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Final Boss
  2. My Own Nation
  3. .38 Airweight
  4. Gray Duck
  5. Heavy Rescue
  6. 80 On 80
  7. Mini Brute
  8. Cabin Killer
  9. Beastface
  10. The Bends
  11. Generator
  12. Off In The Deep
  13. Marathon
  14. High Water

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a hip hop album with lots going on at once.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a beautiful looking cover, I’d be stoked to have it in my collection.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

I need to own more Hip-Hop on vinyl (yes I want it).

Final Thoughts:

Doomtree is a hip-hop super-group (at least in my eyes), Sims, P.O.S., and Dessa are all artists with amazing solo work, so to have them all in the same group making music is kind of a big deal for me. Granted I got into Doomtree before their solo careers but now that I’ve researched more I almost forgot that these guys all worked together. They take things in a different direction on All Hands, keeping the lyrics abstract and the percussion raw, they get much more electronic than I’m used to hearing them, which was a good move because they now can appeal to a larger audience. Old fans may be a little let down with the new sound but I’m on board and excited to hear these guys push themselves as a group and as individual artists.

Cage The Elephant-Tell Me I’m Pretty (2015)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 73%

Average Rating: 81%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Cry Baby
  2. Mess Around
  3. Sweetie Little Jean
  4. Too Late to Say Goodbye
  5. Cold Cold Cold
  6. Trouble
  7. How Are You True
  8. That’s Right
  9. Punchin’ Bag
  10. Portuguese Knife Fight

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a classic rock album mixed with a little bit of pop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I absolutely friggin’ love this album cover, I couldn’t stop looking at it when I first found it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Hellz yeah.

Final Thoughts:

I’ve been with Cage The Elephant since the very beginning and it’s been one heck of a ride. I really loved their self titled album then I kinda lost interest in them for their follow up, which was really a noise rock album. But now they’ve become more radio friendly and I surprisingly like the outcome. It’s not original Cage, but it’s still really great music.

Moon Duo-Shadow of the Sun (2015)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 66%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 75%

Average Rating: 77%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Wilding
  2. Night Beat
  3. Free the Skull
  4. Zero
  5. In a Cloud
  6. Thieves
  7. Slow Down Low
  8. Ice
  9. Animal
  10. Cross the Way

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the hunt for some music that would be on a Nicolas Winding Refn film.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Trippy. I lovez it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yup!

Final Thoughts:

Moon Duo was a pleasant surprise for me. I never really know what I’m getting into when I allow someone on What’s In My Bag to tell me what to listen to, but this was a winner. Really fun/dark sounding music. It’d be a perfect album to walk downtown at night to. Very cinematic sounding at times, but just overall a really great album that’s worth your attention.

Dee Dee Bridgewater-Dee Dee’s Feathers (2015)

My Rating: 46% (D-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 46%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. One Fine Thing
  2. What A Wonderful World
  3. Big Chief
  4. Saint James Infirmary
  5. Dee Dee’s Feathers
  6. New Orleans
  7. Treme Song/Do Whatcha Wanna
  8. Come Sunday
  9. Congo Square
  10. C’est Ici Que Je T’aime
  11. Do You Know What It Means
  12. Whoopin’ Blues
  13. Rising Tide (Tune Up) Extended Version

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You:

Want a classic sounding jazz vocalist to sing to you while you cook dinner.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s a pretty elegant cover, but is it just me or does Mayfield totally look uncomfortable in this picture? Like he doesn’t wanna be there or something.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Nooope.

Final Thoughts:

Dee Dee Bridgewater is a classic jazz vocalist, and that’s a fault, because instead of showcasing her voice over sad or uncovered jazz gems she decides to use repetitive lyrics, do way too much scatting for anybody’s liking, and cover What A Wonderful World (seriously, we all know it, give us something that’s gone unappreciated for years instead of being so on the nose). Her band is great, her voice is terrific, her choices for tracks and order on an album is her major downfall.

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